Highlands residents are actively trying to convince Verizon Wireless to change its plans from installing five cell towers along Palisades Drive to relocating them to the Santa Ynez Reservoir. Paul Glasgall, former chairman of the Palisades Highlands Presidents Council and a member of Pacific Palisades Community Council who is spearheading the effort, is arranging a meeting between the cell company’s representative, SureSite, and the L.A. Department of Water and Power, which owns the Santa Ynez Reservoir property. ‘Hopefully, they can come to some agreement,’ Glasgall said, adding that many residents have e-mailed him saying they would prefer the cell towers be installed at the reservoir, which is out of public view. Glasgall is receiving help on setting up the negotiations from L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office. The issue arose in late November when Highlands resident Joseph Brown received letters from both SureSite and the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, informing him that a cell tower would be placed on the median strip in front of his home at 1700 Palisades Dr. He had 14 days to appeal the installation. When Brown called the city, he discovered that Verizon had plans to erect five cell towers along the four-lane road. By law, cell companies have to notify only the resident living adjacent to the proposed cell tower and the neighbors on either side as well as across the street. Only residents living near the proposed tower have the ability to appeal the installation. Verizon has proposed placing the first tower 0.6 miles north of Sunset Boulevard, the second 1.2 miles north of Sunset, the third near the south end of Palisades Circle, the fourth on a median strip next to the driveway entrance to Homeowners Association Number 4 (adjacent to Brown’s home) and the fifth near Chastain Parkway. Brown, an attorney with a law office in Sherman Oaks, filed an appeal with the city opposing the cell tower near his home, and another Highlands resident appealed the tower near Chastain Parkway. Brown told the Palisadian-Post that he is against the cell tower by his house because it would be located on a median strip. He thinks it would be a visual blight and traffic hazard. The other four proposed cell towers would not be located on median strips. Lauren Skinner, spokeswoman for City of L.A. Department of Public Works, told the Post on Tuesday that the city has not approved any of the cell towers. Brown and Glasgall have met with SureSite to discuss installing one large cell tower at the reservoir instead of five smaller towers along Palisades Drive. Glasgall said that such an arrangement has worked for Sprint. ‘I think it’s the best alternative,’ Brown said, noting that Verizon’s two proposed cell towers in the canyon will be eyesores and the other three will be located in the residential area.
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